what's hot around the web

you asked...

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

I think my son is ready to have more than just milk for meals… but how do I know for sure? What are the best first foods?

Re: I think my son is ready to have more than just milk for meals… but how do I know for sure? What are the best first foods?

The Bump Expert

Generally, babies are ready to start trying solid foods around six months. If your son is showing interest in other foods (think grabbing for your chicken wings and staring at your cereal) and able to sit up in his high chair, it's probably a good time to start. Best to run it past your pediatrician before starting the taste tests, though.

The standard first food is single-grain baby cereal (often rice cereal or oatmeal) mixed with breast milk or formula, but there's no official scientific data that says you have to start with that. From whole-grains, move on to strained, mashed and finely pureed fruits and veggies like bananas and sweet potatoes. Allow about at least two to three days between each new food introduction to monitor for allergic reactions. At eight months or so, try pureed table foods like turkey and cottage cheese.

Stay away from honey until baby is at least a year. Some pediatricians recommend against fish and eggs in baby's first year, but there's actually no evidence that early introduction to them can cause allergies. Don't ever force foods -- if baby repeatedly refuses to try something new, he's simply not ready yet. And remember, baby still needs breast milk or formula until at least a year.

Plus, more from The Bump:

How to Make Your Own Baby Food

Baby Food Recipes for Every Stage

Best Foods for Baby (and a Few to Avoid)

* article updated October 3, 2012

Paula Kashtan

re: Q: What Are The Best First Foods?

We started with the common rice and then oatmeal. The doc recommended cereals at 4 months, stage 1veggies at 5 months and stage 1 fruits at 6 months. I read some text in one of my books that also recommends "Peas" as the first veggie to offer for the same reasons as rice cereal (low risk for allergic reation). After we introduced everything individually, we started buying the mixed stage 2 entrees which have meat in them. I was also curious about when to start meats but the doc said the stage 2 would be fine. Something I didn't know to expect that happened quickly was the "bottle intake" went down to less bottles per day and the stools started getting firmer, so beware!!

US_Rach |

re: Q: What Are The Best First Foods?

My daughter was doing well with cereal and oatmeal. We intoduced apples, pears, and bananas (a new one each week) and she became very unhappy. She won't eat cereal or oatmeal anymore. Since then we stopped trying fruits and will wait a little longer.

tiff16 |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

My daughter loved sweet potatoes because they are.. well ... sweet. But it was a great first veggie for her! My pediatrician told me I could start trying solids with her when we went for her two month visit. I read 6 months and am thinking ... holy crap they started her early!! But she's done fine and I'm no doctor....

Txmommy09 |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies start solids at 6 months, so this expert advice is right in line with that. I hear a lot of pediatricians recommend starting at 4 months IF baby is ready (can sit up well in a high chair, has stopped forcing food out with his/her tongue, can swallow well) and is s/he shows interest in food other than milk. Our pediatrician recommended we try at 4 months, but after four days of rice cereal with breast milk, we realized he was very fussy at bedtime every night since we started the cereal. So, we stopped and have just now restarted him on cereal at 6 months (which is when I wanted to start in the first place). Things are going just fine now with that and he is eating less milk from a bottle, too. I don't know if "tiff16" will see this reply, but I'm wondering how old your baby was when you posted this and how things worked out with your baby. Also "Txmommy09," I have NEVER heard a doctor recommend starting solids at 2 months! Babies' tummies just aren't designed to digest very much besides milk at that young age. I"m glad it worked out for you guys, though! There's really NO benefit to feeding baby solids early and it can really stress baby's digestive system. Another good reason to wait is purely selfish... it's much easier to breast feed or prepare a bottle than to make up a solid food meal, get out the high chair, and all that. So, I figure if the baby's not benefiting from it and it's harder, why rush it?

JocelynP |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

I was surprised since I'd read 6 months here but today the doctor gave us a sheet with the food "schedule" and she's introducing cereals at three months.

malcivar |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

I really like Jocelyn P's philosophy and it's what we are doing with our son. Babies get all they need from breast milk or formula for the first year...sure you had to add some Vit D for breast feeding and eventually Iron at 6 months but that's just a dropper. The way I understand the solid food thing before a year is just to acquaint baby with texture, new way to eat and socialization. Their nutritional needs definitely can't be met when just eating sweet potatoes one week and carrots the next. This helped take the pressure off for me.

bebetulips |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

Definitely go with 6 months and Google 'BABY LED WEANING.' It is a method of introducing solids by letting baby feed him/herself. I know it sounds strange but research it a bit to see if it's something you want to do with your child. I really believe it's the best way to go with introducing solids!

cmcgee888 |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

I am strictly breastfeeding my 3.5 month old and plan to do so for at least a year. But around 2 months, I realized I needed something to keep her satisfied longer through the night. So a girlfriend of mine suggested expressing milk and adding a tsp or 2, to the one daily 3-4 oz bottle given to her at 6PM. Now I know that it is strongly recommended NOT to do this but it seems have held my baby longer through the night. She sleeps from 9-10PM to 5-7AM every night. At three months she seemed to want more so for every ounce of milk, we add a leveled off tsp of rice cereal. Now at 3.5 months we experimented with Gerber Supported SItter Organic pureed veggies and fruits because we started to see her leaning towards our dinner plate and wanting more breastmilk. And surprinsingly she loves the pureed food. We've started off giving her 1/3 of a package daily since the package only lasts 3 days, plus we wanted to watch for allergic reactions and significant stool changes. So far she is one big happy baby. Can't wait to inform her doctor in 3 weeks at her 4 month doctors appointment. Likely I will be reprimanded but her I think sometimes a parent can make these decisions especially if they watch for changes closely.

NeanMom |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

I am really having a hard time with beginning to feed my four month old daughter. Its my first baby and everyone confuses me do this do that dont do that dont do this. My daughter is just beginning the rice cereal, she was doing good the first few days but refuses often. I am breastfeeding and make the cereal with formula. My mother tries to let her drink a lil pop and fries which is a no no to me but how do i stop people from trying. She reaches and grabs my plate always! I am so confused on what to do? A teething baby also!

whatchagot1 |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

For the babies that refuse it, they say that often it is easier for them to get used to the rice cereal if you prepare it in a bottle. Also you can give it to them with a little bit of apple or pear juice to help with the taste. My son wanted nothing to do with his cereal until I tried giving it to him in a bottle with a y shaped nipple. watchagot1- Just have a back bone. It is YOUR baby. You are the one that has nurtured that child from moment one. NO ONE can give your baby anything without your permission and if you don't say something that is giving them permission. Soda and fries are inexcusable. Most Pediatricians say that a child shouldn't even have clear soda's until after 5 yrs of age! A baby cannot handle that. You might just have to limit your Mother's contact with your child if she cannot get it together. Bad habits start young!!

ncb0830 |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

Our son started on oatmeal at 5 months mainly to help with his severe reflux. We would give him 1-2 tsp. of cereal a day and it seemed to help with the spitting up. At about 5 1/2 months he started reaching for our food and cups and so we began increasing the cereal and adding bananas to it for taste. Soon after we found out that he is anemic and so the doctor told us to start with green beans to help increase his iron. He eats cereal three times a day with a 1/2 container of fruit or veggies each time. His bottles have decreased as well and we have wasted a lot of formula trying to figure out how many oz. of formula is going to work with the amount of food that he is eating. Just as we have had to adjust, I think my son is adjusting to this change. I am thankful that he enjoys his food and have even started giving him a cup with a little formula in it. He does not drink a lot out of the cup but is more interested in the fact that he can put it in his mouth.

tinaguerra614 |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

Don't let anyone tell you what is best for your baby. Many dr's tell parents to use rice cereal if baby is experiencing reflux issues. Would they do that if rice cereal is bad at 2 months??? You are with your child every day and you see his/her needs. I used a small amount of rice cereal mixed in with breast milk at 4 weeks. I could tell he just needed more than I could give him at night and it kept HIM happy. I also started solids at 3 1/2 months. My boy is a very healthy baby....not to mention a big eater! I knew starting foods a little earlier than recommended was right for us!

jschub |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

we started rice cereal at 4 months, the first week I followed the directions on the box, but it was so runny it just leaked back out of her mouth. Then I thickened it up some and she LOVED it. we stuck to a lot of veggies, trying a new one every week or two...we started out with avocados, squash, peas, sweet potatoes. We waited awhile to introduce fruits just b/c they're sweeter but when we did we had bananas mashed in BM, blueberry applesauce, pears, and she loved them, but would still take veggies no problem. By 8 months she pretty much ate what we did just cut into really small pieces. and then maintained 3 bottles a day. And like PP mentioned...watch out for those diaper changes - wow!

lolosmom |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

We started the rice cereal at 6 months, as suggested per our pediatrician. First night she was very fussy, crying, where usually she is a very quiet baby. Second night, the same. So we are stopping today, as two nights of this is enough. We have organic brown rice cerial from Happy Bellies. I looked at the label and it contains a lots of stuff, including 1 gram of sugar...could that be the problem why she became very fussy at bedtime? Anyway, we are not going to give her anything for now. Just breastmilk. She was much happier with it before. Does anybody know other rice cerial without sugar and all organic? Thanks.

anuita7 |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

My daughter is now 4 months old. We started with about an ounce of rice cereal to 5 ounces of formula, in a bottle. We introduced it lightly and did that for a few weeks. We recently started introducing the yellow/orange purreed veggies, as my doctor said to be best. Then go to green veggies, then fruits. We would just take a spoon and put it to her mouth to see if she was ready to start and would accept the spoon, she's now been eating rice cereal on a spoon for 3 days, and we introduced her first veggie (being squash) yesterday, and she loves it. Every baby goes at there own pace, just see if the baby will accept the spoon. Or try making a small amount of rice cereal and breastmilk/formula and see if they'll take it. At first it's a little hard having them get the hang of the spoon and how to swallow compared to bottles, but they get the hang of it within just a few days. Good Luck!

cherbaby3 |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

I'm surprised at the number of people on here who will listen to their child's pediatrician and start solids as early as 2 or 4 months despite the fact that they themselves say they have read that it's best to wait until 6 months! Why aren't you parents trusting your own inclinations and what you've learned?!? Doctors are often wrong because because some of them stop going out of their ways to update their medical knowledge after they finish their training. When it's about my child's well being I make sure to read about things first (from the AAP, the Mayo Clinic, medical research results, and sometimes from online communities), and go to her pediatrician with good knowledge of the treatment options. I value her pediatrician's input and vast medical knowledge, but I am the ultimate decision maker in non-emergency situations. Frankly, I'm shocked that other people trust the recommendations of pediatrician's as absolutely right.

LilahsMama |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

@LilahMama For one, doctor's do not "stop going out of their ways to update their medical knowledge after they finish their training". IN FACT, doctors must get MANDATORY continuing education credits EVERY SINGLE YEAR and these are focused around new research, hot button topics, etc. Second, I think most people on here based their decisions on THEIR instincts and not what the pedi said. And, lastly, rice cereal is proven to reduce acid reflux. If you are truly doing your research, you would know this. The AAP recommends 6 months as a general guideline and acknowledges that all babies are different and go at their own pace.

lmanforte |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

My doc gave us the green light to begin cereal with our four month old son at his last check up. As long as baby can sit up in a high chair, has reasonable muscle control of his head and torso, has the ability to eat and swallow the food, and has an interest in food, you're ok to start feeding. My son loves to eat the pureed veggies. We haven't really started introducing the fruits yet, because he's having such a good time with the veggies. He doesn't really care for the cereal, I have to mix it with baby apple juice to get him to eat. If you trust your pediatrician, and you know you're child well enough, there should be no issue with starting foods at 4 months.

LRHOLMES |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

We've been giving my son cereal in his bottle since he was 2 months old. It annoys me how judgemental some of you are. Every baby is different. Our child was eating 4 ozs every 1 1/2 hours. He doubled his birth weight by 3 months. He is just a big boy. He's off the charts in height and weight. Tiny babies don't eat as much as big babies. You can't my 20lbs 5month olds eating habits by your 12lb 5month olds. It just doesn't add up. EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT! Don't bash other mothers just because they feed their child differently. They don't come to these forums to be spoken so rudely to, they come for advice. So give your advice and keep your negativity to your self. Thanks! Back to the subject at hand.. We tried 1st stage baby foods at 4 months, and he didn't really care for them so we stopped. He will be 6 months on the 25th and we've just started trying again and he LOVES it! Some babies start early, some don't! Best of luck!

JessyDee |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

We started rice cereal at 4 months and veggies at 6 months. We introduced a new veggie every few days to make sure she didn't have any allergies. She loves everything. We knew she was ready because she watches everything we put into our mouths and tries to help herself to it. We've also added fruits now, just bananas and pears so far. I don't plan to introduce juice for a while. I've read that juices can be a factor in juvenile diabetes if given too often. I hope that eventually she learns to love water as a source of hydration but I haven't given that to her either. When she eats her meals, I give her two ounces of formula from a Nuby sippy cup. She loves that also. It has a soft spout like a bottle. The "meals" replace that bottle feeding. I watch for clues for her to be hungry again since we are experimenting with different amounts of fruits and veggies based on her interest. Every baby is different. Follow guidelines but also look for your baby's cues to know if it's the right time fto introduce something new.

kcburris |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

When my husband and I took our daughter for her 8 week check up our dr stated that at 16 weeks we could introduce rice cereal. I did so when she turned 16 weeks (we used Gerber organic rice) and she did great for a few days but then started vomiting. Projectile vomiting and also extreme fussiness. Now this is a baby that never fussed over anything do we knew something was wrong. My husband and I decided to stop feeding her, which really was too bad as she LOVED eating lol. Our 16 week check up with her was that week also so I brought it to our Dr's attention. One of the ? He asked me was if my husband was over feeding her (I work 16 hour shifts and the vomiting started while I was at work) to which I said no, he's got a really good handle on her feeding cues. So he said, ok must be a stomach bug, go ahead and start freeing her rice again. So, the next morning I did. She projectile vomited immediately after the meal. At that point I just decided to stop altogether and start up once she actually had an interest in our food. She's now 6 months and we started her back up on rice buy this ime I make it my self. I buy whole grain basmati rice from Trader Joes and I grind up 1/4 cup rice and boil 1 cup f water, once it comes to a boil I add the ground rice and whisk for 10 min while still on heat. I also use a potato mashed to get out any lumps. She gets that with cooked, pureed carrots and/or peas. She loves it :D and no vomiting!

littleirishrose13@msn.com |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

My daughter is 5 and a half months old and we just started her on cereal this week by spoon,. My Ped suggested introducing it at the beginning of each feeding to get her used to it. At this stage she isn't going to be swallowing enough to be a meal so we're still having to give her 5oz of formula afterwards. I am using the oatmeal because I feel the rice cereal is just tummy filler since there are no nutrients in it. She does make a face sometimes when she eats it because it is pretty bland but mixing in a little applesauce works great for that. She's just taking about 1 oz of formula with 2 tbsp of cereal. Most of it gets all over her so not sure how much she's eating. Bought some baby food but will probably wait on that until I feel comfortable that she is actually eating and we can start using it as a meal replacement. I don't want to give her the baby food and then have to feed her with formula afterward. I agree with you all that you have to watch for your baby's cues to know when to start each stage.

mdhohenshelt |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

it is always good to introduce foods on a time , making sure they do not trigger allergic reactions. But is good because you can definitely pinpoint it them. Soft foods they can hold in their handle that are all natural are the best!

Toddler101 |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

Our daughter was 3 weeks early and is now almost 8 months old. She still hates her baby food other than cereal. She still drinks breast milk in clusters because she can't hold her whole meal in her little stomach (she's still 5th percentile for weight, which is fine, but she's skinny), so she has to pee before she can eat the rest of her meal. I don't like giving her cereal only because she needs her greens to keep her from getting plugged up. Baby cereal has hardly any fiber. She doesn't like veggies or fruit in any combination or mixed in the cereal. She'll sometimes eat the meat. We have to keep taking breaks because she will refuse to eat the baby food and gets really upset (we don't want her to have a negative attitude about eating). How do I get her to start eating the baby food? Most of the discussion on this forum has been about how early to start baby food, but what about how late to start?

linadams |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

My daughter is 4 months and 2 weeks old and her doctor told us this is the best time to introduce solids to her...As she said we gonna start with rice cereal then oatmeal cereal...One month later vegee and fruit purees....

geeth |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

My child was breast and formula fed until she was 3 months old. Then she went to formula and at about 14 weeks, we added rice to her nighttime and morning bottle and she did just fine. She will be 4 months next wednesday and we are thinking about introducing baby food but are going to talk with her pediatrician first just to see what she says. She doesn't sit up on her own yet but with the Bumbo, she is definitely able to stay up. From everything I've read and heard from other parents, 4-6 months is the time to start and it really does depend on the baby. There is no right or wrong way, I think it's really just trial and error with each child. You're not going to hurt your baby by trying to feed him/her. If they don't like it they don't like it and you've learned a lesson. Unless there is an allergic reaction, then you shouldn't worry about whether it is "the right time" to feed the baby. They'll let you know. I'm just curious as to what brand of food everyone is having the best luck with?

adamsdown |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

My daughter was drooling and grabbing at my plate or anyone's in the vicinity at 4 months. She was taking 32 oz of formula at that time. At her 5 month checkup, my pedi said she could start rice cereal. We did that and then did barley and then did oatmeal. She loved them all, but oatmeal got her really backed up! She also dropped to 26 to 28 oz of formula a day. Doctor said to add prunes, which she loves, and that has regulated her really well. Since then she has had beans, peas, apples, bananas and of course prunes, all stage 1. She prefers food on a spoon over a bottle for the most part. She will take 4 to 6 oz after a cereal / fruit or veggie meal (mind you, it is 3/4 of a tbsp of cereal and 1/2 tbsp of veggie or fruit) and has one 7 oz bottle at night. Point is, if your little one is foaming at the mouth for table food, stop the torture and start the cereal. They are pretty good at letting you know what they want right!

raialynne2010 |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

My parents started me on solids after only 5 days home from the hospital. Of course, this was about 25 years ago, but the doctor said it was fine as long as I seemed to enjoy it and wasn't getting constipated or choking. I'm not saying I would recommend this for everybody, but I'll just tell ya'll what she told me. My mom said that no matter how much she fed me I was still hungry (she said I took 8 oz bottles right after birth and completely skipped the 4 oz bottles) and whenever everybody else was around the table eating I seemed interested in the food, so she gave me a tiny bite of some mashed potatoes just to 'see what would happen'. She said I seemed to enjoy it and then started grunting as if I wanted more. After that she started giving me the baby cereals and anything else that was mashed up. They never gave me store bought baby food. With my brother they started him on solids at about 3 months on baby cereal, and they gave him store bought baby food because he had some digestive problems and he just did better with that than he did with the stuff they started me on. A completely difference experience with him than it was with me. I think introducing baby to solids is an entirely individual experience. Every baby will be ready at their own pace. I am planning to introduce solids when my baby seems like she's interested in them, even if its just a couple of spoonfuls of cereal here and there or a mashed up banana, no matter how old she is. If she is ready she will let me know in her own way.

beautiflaw |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

My son is almost 5 months old and the doc told us to start on rice cereal. What I didn't expect was two days of him being constipated. He was super fuzzy and spit up a lot on these two days as he wasn't able to digest more due to the packed tummy! We stopped the rice and started oatmeal. So far so good. As I read more about rice cereal I learned the two reasons we introduce this as a first food for babies; 1) tradition and 2) less likely to have an allergy to it. Don't forget, every child is different and as a new mom it's easy to feel the pressure of keeping up with the "Jones's" even in the baby world. Listen to your doctor and follow your gut! :)

stephcoy |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

In the early months, my baby girl seemed to never get full on breastmilk and formula alone. She was crying all the time and always hungry. I remember the nurse at the hospital saying that hunger is a learned behavior, but I disagree- not to mention that she grew so much in her first 2 months! A few weeks after returning to work and experiencing extreme sleep deprevision, a co-worker suggested mixing some cerel into her bottles before she goes to sleep at night. I tried it when she was about 8 weeks and for the first time she was... HAPPY. My baby's reaction and complete change in personality tells me this decision was correct. My doctor suggested introducing solids at 4 months. She had been holding her head up and sitting up fairly well with support for over a month, so that's when I started spoon feeding her rice cerel. She seemed to like peas and sweet potatos best. She did not like squash as much, but I had little trouble feeding it to her. I later introduced banana. That's all I've tried so far, but I'm waiting a while on the real sweet fruits. Go by what you think is best for your baby, and DON'T JUDGE OTHERS--- what's best for your baby may be different then what's best for other babies!

aejohnson928 |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

my doctor recommended we started stage 1 Gerber Infant Rice mixed with formula at 2 months old.

whitwhit95 |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

Ideally, babies should have nothing but breast milk and/or formula during the first 6 months of life. I've decided on organic baby formula based on a doctor's recommendation.After a few months of just veggies, I also introduced organic baby cereals. As far as the cereals went, I don't remember if I made a distinction between rice cereal and anything else. His digestion was so good that I never noticed a difference and I was pretty clear on his schedule, since I potty trained him at 11 months. Read more: http://www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com/best-first-food-for-baby.html#ixzz1ZBhf1LiG

jackieboolan |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

All babies are different and some babies can start as early as two months to eating food, Sometimes as a mother instead of listening to doctors and other people you should listen and watch your baby. I am not saying ignore them because advices are a big help but just to pay close attention to your child because they are all different and develop differently.

MarciaC04 |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

It is best to wait till at least 4 months because the stomach wall prior to that is extremely thin and the food particles can be absorb through the wall into the blood stream where the boody attacks the foriegn obects and creates antibodies, equaling food allergies.

melissa28rn |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

MY daughter is on special milk cuz of milk allergies and on Zantac cuz she has acid reflux.She hates that milk we have had such a hard time that I tried everything she hates cereal I tried it my self it taste awful whit her milk since her milk taste sour in the first place .I cant wait to get her on solids doc told me we going to try when she's 5 months if only she knew that the baby been eating since she was 3m 1 week she's doing fine she hates juices and doesn't really care for the fruits yet im having a hard time giving her the milk cuz she doesn't want the formula alone I need to put food in it like sweet potatoes or carrots..That's how I get her to drink it some people might think is to young but it really isnt about age is more of if baby is ready only u as a mom know what's working for our babies. Doc go by what u tell them most of the time they rush around and diagnose by experiences w other babies sometimes I wonder if she really looking at my babies chart cuz make no sense what she suggesting .I keep searching and talking w other mothers ..just think about this there's others countries that cannot afford milk so they feed babies at much younger age and they are healthier and live normal life's mean while docs give us this and our kids are full of allergies and diagnosed whit all theses diff deceases go figure. I make her her food w baby bullet best thing ever..plus is free of preservatives and acids Peas carrots and sweet potatoes are best to start im waiting till 6 months for fruits.

Matosramirez |

best-first-foods-for-baby

Solid and nursing schedule

fabiolaaacuna |

Q&A: Best first foods for baby?

Be weary of bananas. Naturally they have a tendency to "bind" you up. I gave my 5 month old bananas and he didn't have a BM for 4 1/2 days. The stress alone has made me want to wait to introduce them again. There are plenty of other fruits to try so we aren't worried. So far he has loved homemade pears and I have been sticking to organic foods to decrease his chance of having oral allergy syndrome which I often get from pesticides. Good luck and have fun. Making your own is always better.

Misssarah31 |

Previous Article:
Can baby be vegan?